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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Nuclear Engineering

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Nuclear Engineering Regular, Full-time, Pay Grade 00

There is an immediate opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee ( to support a new, three-year project supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E). The research project will focus on the design, construction, and implementation of a novel sensor that will measure the fuel and transuranic composition of a liquid-fueled molten salt reactor during reactor operation.

The University of Tennessee Nuclear Engineering Department is part of the Tickle College of Engineering, which has the fastest growing PhD program among the Top 40 public colleges of engineering and is ranked 32nd amongst public institutions in 2022. The department has a diverse research portfolio and is the largest Nuclear Engineering PhD program in the United States with over 110 PhD students and over $12M in annual research expenditures, earning it a rank of 7th by US News in 2021. According to ASEE, it also has the second largest undergraduate program.

The department is currently moving into a new $129M building that will house 23 new nuclear engineering laboratories. The Nuclear Engineering Department is committed to cultivating work/life balance and a family-friendly work environment for faculty, staff, and students.

Knoxville, a vibrant and growing city, is nestled at the base of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Knoxville was recently rated the “best place in the U.S. for new college graduates to live and work” by the ERI Economic Research Institute, a compensation research firm specializing in salary survey and cost-of-living studies. This comes on the heels of Knoxville’s “ninth hottest area of the country to do business” ranking and a five-star rating for quality of life. The Knoxville-Oak Ridge area is a national powerhouse in nuclear science and engineering research and industry.

The partnership between UT and the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the nation’s largest science and energy national laboratory, is especially significant. Faculty members and student and staff researchers often work on joint programs with ORNL, sometimes in part time residence at ORNL. The local area is also the home to 100+ nuclear-related companies.

The ideal candidate will have expertise in one or more of the following areas: 1) computational fluid dynamic modeling, 2) working with radiation in a glove box, 3) radiation detection and spectroscopy, 4) semiconductor sensor fabrication, and/or 5) application of machine learning for pattern recognition in spectra. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and perform research in a collaborative environment. Activities include supporting active communication with partner institutions, which consists of one national laboratory and three private companies. Further, the successful candidate will assist in the management and mentoring of two graduate research assistants and an undergraduate researcher.

The successful candidate is expected to conduct original research and disseminate results via peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations. If desired, the candidate may also help with proposal writing and teaching classes, so this experience will be good preparation for a tenure track position.


Candidates must possess a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, materials science and engineering, electrical and computer engineering, or another closely related field.

Candidates must apply online and include a statement of interest, CV, and contact information for three professional references along with their online application.

Job: Research Professional
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Nuclear Engineering
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Feb 23, 2022, 9:21:16 PM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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